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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.

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Top Rated Movies #91 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
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Astronaut
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Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
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Astronaut
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Storyline

"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be. Written by Larry Cousins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Ultimate Trip. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

|

Release Date:

12 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£69,567 (UK) (30 November 2014)

Gross:

$56,954,992 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical release) | (initial release) | (Canada VHS French Version)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)| (2001 re-release)

Color:

(Technicolor)| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Magazine "poll" places won by this movie: In 2002, named by "Positif" (France) as #1 in both critics' choice and readers' choice of 50 best films in 1952-2002. In 2007, named by American Film Institute as #15 Greatest Movie of All Time, and #1 on AFI list of the 10 greatest "Sci-Fi" films, June 2008. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL," #78 (out of 100) of AFI's best movie quotes. "Dave, my mind is going, I can feel it," #82 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines," Premiere, 2007. A poster was #10 of 25 Best Movie Posters Ever, Premiere Magazine. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Floyd is giving his speech during the debriefing, his hands are alternately (not) resting on the podium. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
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Crazy Credits

The traditional "roaring lion" logo for MGM was not used in this film. Instead, the newly designed corporate logo for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was used, along with the letters "MGM", all in white against a blue background. See more »

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 Drug PSAs (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
(1866)
("An der schönen, blauen Donau, op. 314 (The Blue Danube)")
Music by Johann Strauss (as Johann Strauss)
Performed by Berliner Philharmoniker (as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conductor Herbert von Karajan
Courtesy Deutsche Grammophon
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Cosmic Art
6 February 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Mankind's Self awakening is the theme of "2001: A Space Odyssey", a process that unfolds along a space-time continuum. We "see" our primordial past, and we "infer" a cosmic future. The powers of intuition thus become the doors of perception, in our ongoing collective journey.

From this transcendental perspective, a conventional, egocentric plot seems superfluous. Our frenzied conflicts and self-important dialogue are consumed in evolutionary change, and are irrelevant in a cosmos that is vast beyond comprehension. It's a tough lesson for a vain and aggressive species. Not surprising then that some of us huff and puff about the film's slowness and minimal story. For perceptive viewers, the remuneration is an inspirational sense of wonder and awe.

In this film, which is mostly visual, geometric symbols guide our intuition. Circles and arcs represent nature. Right angles represent conscious intelligence. Some people think the sleek, black monolith is a Von Neumann probe. Maybe. Without doubt, the monolith is a visual metaphor for an extraterrestrial intelligence whose physical form is never shown. Mystery is more profound than explanation.

"2001 ... " is unique among films in content and scope. The cinematography is out-of-this-world, the special and visual effects are breathtaking, and the classical music is sublime. I rarely use the word "masterpiece" to describe a movie. But Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is art in the highest sense, like Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", or Vincent Van Gogh's "The Starry Night".


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